OrgVue is a tool designed to manage organisational data. Organisational datasets are often incomplete and stored in multiple places. Before you can do any integration or cleaning of these data, you need to get the information into OrgVue in the first place. These are the main ways of getting data into OrgVue:
– Directly entering data into datasets
– Copying in from Excel
– Auto uploading from a database
– Using one of three kinds of interface:
1. Webforms, which allow multiple users to update various aspects of a dataset without logging in to Workspace.
2. Surveys, which gather one-off information from a large number of respondents and aggregate the results.
3. Task forms, which guide users through a data entry process, especially if it involves dynamic workflow / approval.
(For more information on webforms, surveys and task forms, check out my post on OrgVue interfaces: how to use webforms, surveys and tasks.)
Image 1: different ways to get data into OrgVue.
How do I follow these processes?
Entering data directly into OrgVue is as simple as clicking “add node” and typing into cells like you would in Excel. The most common way of getting data into OrgVue is pasting it in from another source, usually Excel, but also Notepad, MS Word, or even a table in an email. All you need to do is select the data you want to copy, including headers and avoiding empty columns, and hit Ctrl-C.
The advantage of this method is that it also lets you define a hierarchy – as long as the source data contains a unique ID field and a parent ID, and something that you are happy to use as a label, OrgVue lets you instantly assemble org charts. OrgVue also lets you merge several worksheets into a single dataset. Paste merging works like a repeated VLOOKUP in Excel (or a left outer join in SQL, Tableau, or Alteryx), in that you need to have a property common to both tables and this is the field used to merge data into OrgVue.
There are times when manual integration of data, even via a webform or paste merge, is not ideal. When pulling data from a variety of databases, manual intervention and creation of Excel spreadsheets becomes time consuming and leaves you prone to errors.
OrgVue provides an auto-upload tool. Saving your source data in a nominated folder, you can schedule regular loads into OrgVue, and carry out more sophisticated actions like:
– Automating scheduled uploads from a Windows Server to OrgVue
– Merging multiple CSVs into a single dataset
– Uploading behind a proxy
– Artificially constructing a dataset that contains a history of past values
How else can I connect the data I’ve imported?
Once your data is in OrgVue, there are a number of different ways of combining, connecting and relating it to produce the insight you need. Broadly speaking there are 4 types of action you may come across:
– Lookup: connection between a primary dataset and a secondary lookup based on a unique field common to both datasets. Used to store values in a single place and reference them multiple times (the ID matching is the same as in a paste merge, but the datasets are kept separate)
– Link: many to many mapping between nodes in 2 different datasets (like a Lookup it can be used to pull read-only values from one dataset into the other, but it allows for many-to-many relationships between nodes in each dataset)
– Pin: saving a view of the dataset as it is currently configured (colour, filter, chart etc.) where the data stays automatically up to date because it is just a version of the main dataset. This is perfect for building charts and dashboards and sharing them with colleagues
– Branch: saved copy of a dataset that can be edited separately but can be updated from the “trunk” (baseline) dataset and request changes to be pushed back into it. Analyse the difference between Trunk and Branch datasets using delta analyses – ideal for cleaning data on a large scale or doing scenario modelling during an org re-design.
 CSV is the most common format for data interchange between systems and all common databases/datasources can export to CSV format.
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